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Gluten-free Baking Wiz Wins $10K in Entrepreneur Finale

Celiac.com 01/20/2016 - The East Lansing woman's pitch for Sweet Encounter won her $11,000 dollars during the Hatching finale business pitch competition at the University Club of Michigan State University.

Photo: Nikki Thompson FrazierFrazier's motivation for participating in the pitch was simple. Her two children suffer from seven different food allergies between them. "There's a lack of safe food options in Lansing. I made all my food from scratch so I figured other moms could benefit from this,"said Frazier, 38.

Thompson's winnings include the $10,000 grand prize from the juried competition, which pitted 12 monthly Hatching winners against each other, along with the crowd favorite award worth $1,000 and a free one-year membership to the University Club.

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Frazier has now won a total of $22,000 from business pitch competitions including the Hatching and the InnovateHER Challenge, a competition for women entrepreneurs, both hosted by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership.

When asked about her efforts, Frazier said, "I make gluten-free food taste delicious."

Frazier wowed the panel judges during her three-minute presentation, pointing out similarities between her vision and entrepreneurs like Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, and touted her ability to generate viable spinoffs from her gluten-free ideas, including potential for cookware, a recipe book, a TV show and magazines, all of which Frazier dubbed the "Nikki Effect."

Stay tuned for progress on Nikki Thompson Frazier's efforts to parlay her baking excellence into entrepreneurial opportunity.

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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.